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will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism." (Romans 2:9-11 NIV)

The Jews were the people 'chosen' to preserve true worship until the arrival of the Messiah, and the people 'chosen' to preserve the Sacred Scriptures with their inspired history and prophecy. But, God did this with the aim of saving other people 'chosen' from all nations. Because of the things that God accomplished in this way, personal salvation is now available to both Jews and non-Jews on the same basis: "Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith." (Romans 3:29-30 NIV)

In fact, to avoid giving the Jews an unfair advantage over other nationalities, when it came to receiving blessings through the Messiah, God placed an obstacle in their path. "Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in," or "One section of Israel has become blind, but this will last only until the whole pagan world has entered." (Romans 11:25 KJV and Jerusalem Bible)

The Jews, too, would end up being blessed. But, in the meantime, they would have to suffer more than many other peoples. For example, they would undergo centuries of slavery: "And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land [that is] not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years." (Gen 15:13 KJV) And, if they failed in their responsibilities to keep the strict laws God gave them, "the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth." (Deuteronomy 28:15, 64 NASB)

The Jews were 'chosen' to do a job that needed to be done, but it was a servant's job, because its aim was to bless the rest of mankind. The end result would be, as God told Abraham, "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (Gen 22:18 KJV)

Chapter 6 Promised Seed

"And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed," God told Abraham. (Gen 22:18 KJV) Who would that promised seed prove to be? The answer is not immediately obvious, because God used the term "seed" differently at different times. First, he used the term very broadly to refer to the vast numbers of people who would be descended from Abraham, but later God revealed that the blessings would come to "all the nations" from a single individual at the end of a long line of descent.

The Apostle Paul explained, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." (Gal 3:16 KJV) Besides calling him the seed of Abraham, Paul also referred to Jesus as King David's seed: "Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh." (Romans 1:3 KJV)

What is the connection between Abraham and Christ? And between David and Christ? The Bible records these connections in the long chain of genealogies and histories that fill the Old Testament. But the Gospel writer Matthew sums it up for us this way:

A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Abraham was the father of Isaac,

Isaac the father of Jacob,

Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,

Perez the father of Hezron,

Hezron the father of Ram,

Ram the father of Amminadab,

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